Russian Olympic Assembly supports athletes going to 2018 Winter Olympic Games

Updated 2017-12-14 15:32:11 Xinhua
The members of Russian national Olympic team during the meeting of Russian Olympic committee in Moscow, Russia, on Dec. 12, 2017. (Xinhua/Evgeny Sinitsyn)

The members of Russian national Olympic team during the meeting of Russian Olympic committee in Moscow, Russia, on Dec. 12, 2017. (Xinhua/Evgeny Sinitsyn)

The Russian Olympic Assembly, the supreme governing body of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), has supported the decision of supporting Russian athletes to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, the ROC said Tuesday.

"The Olympic Assembly respects any decision of athletes and calls on everyone to respect the choice of each individual athlete," it said in a statement.

Last week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics set for next February in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The IOC will allow only "clean" Russian athletes not involved in doping scandals to participate in the games, it said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier claimed the IOC decision to be politically motivated, but repelled the idea of boycotting the Olympic Games.

On Monday, the ROC published a statement signed by leading Russian athletes, in which they expressed readiness to participate in the 2018 Olympics despite being "put in unequal conditions with colleagues from other countries."

The ROC ordered its leadership to ensure the participation of Russian athletes in the upcoming games and to provide necessary assistance in solving organizational, technical, financial and other issues.

It also urged to provide every possible support to Russian athletes who would not receive an invitation from the IOC or refuse to participate in the games.

Alexander Zhukov, the ROC head, said in a separate statement in the ROC Twitter account that over 200 Russian athletes may be qualified to participate in the 2018 Winter Games.

225 Russian athletes participated in the 2014 Winter Olympics held in the Russian city of Sochi.

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